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Browsing: Adams Family Correspondence, Volume 2


Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0243

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-08

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have concluded to run the Risque of sending Turner Home. It will save me the Expence of his Board and Horse.
The Moment he arrives, I hope you will send his Horse to Boston to be sold at Vendue. If he rides the Horse let him be sold immediately. If he rides the Mare, you may keep her if you chuse to do so and sell the old Horse, provided the Mare will go in a Carriage which must be tried, because I dont know that she ever was in one.
We have heard nothing from the Enemys Fleet, since they left the Capes of Delaware. They may intend for Philadelphia yet, which makes me a little irresolute about sending away my Man and Horse without which I should be puzzled to get away from this Place, if it should be invaded. I believe I shall delay his Journey for a few days. Perhaps We shall hear more within that Time.
This day compleats Seven Months, since I left all that I delight in. When shall I return? Not untill the Year is out, provided I can keep myself tolerably well.
Our Accounts from the Northward are still gloomy. Gates is gone, and I hope will restore some degree of Spirits and Confidence there. Burgoigne is laying himself open to destruction, in that Quarter, every day. It is strange that no Check is given him.
These vile Panicks, that seize People and Soldiers too, are very { 304 } difficult to get over.—But at last they turn to Vigour, Fury and Desperation, as they did in the Jerseys. I suppose a few Tories in New York, in the Grants1 and in Berkshire and Hampshire will join Burgoigne, but they will soon repent their rash Folly, and be sick of their Masters. For indeed they will find that neither Burgoigne nor Howe, nor their Master are kind Masters.
The longer We live, the more clearly We see, that nothing will serve our Purpose, but discipline and Experience. Discipline—Discipline, is wanting and must be introduced. The Affair of Ti. will introduce it. The Public calls for Justice, and will have it. This Demand does Honour to the People and is a sure Omen of future Success and Prosperity.
1. The New Hampshire Grants, territory which was long disputed between New Hampshire and New York and which subsequently became Vermont (DAH).

Docno: ADMS-04-02-02-0244

Author: Adams, John
Recipient: Adams, Abigail
Date: 1777-08-11

John Adams to Abigail Adams

I have paid Turner, his Wages up to this day, and settled all Accounts with him. Besides which I have given him £3:2s:od. L.M. towards his Expences home.2 When he arrives he is to produce his Account to you, of the Expences of his Journey. See that he produces Receipts from the Tavern Keepers. Dont pay a Farthing, but what he produces a Receipt for.
I am glad he is going, for between you and me he is a very stupid, and a very intemperate Fellow, very fit for a Companion of the Man who recommended him. Yet He is honest. I never saw any Thing knavish in him. He has had a fine Opportunity weaving Stockings to the Tune of 2 dollars a Day—besides, receiving Wages and Board from me. If he has drank it all, it is his own fault.3
At the End of the Year, when you send Horses for me again, send some other Man. I will not have him. A low lived Fellow, playing Cards with Negroes, and behaving like a Rival with them for Wenches.
I intend to write you, to perswade your Father or my Brother to purchase me, too4 other Horses. These I will sell.

[salute] I am &c.

RC (Adams Papers); addressed: “Mrs. Adams Braintree Mass: Bay favd. by Mr. John Turner.”
1. JA wrote three letters to AA this day; since there is nothing to indicate the order in which he wrote them, they are printed in merely plausible order.
{ 305 }
2. See entries in JA's Accounts with Massachusetts, Jan.–Sept. 1777 (Diary and Autobiography, 2:255).
3. It is not known who recommended Turner to JA. But evidently Turner persisted in one of his bad habits, for in 1796 JA compared his drunken farm hand Billings with “Turner the Stocking Weaver” (same, 3:230).
4. Thus in MS.
Cite web page as: Founding Families: Digital Editions of the Papers of the Winthrops and the Adamses, ed.C. James Taylor. Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 2014.
http://www.masshist.org/apde2/